Distribution and movements of West Indian humpback whales in winter. Academic Article uri icon


  • The humpback whales which winter in the West Indies are principally found over banks which are at latitudes between 10° and 22° N, have substantial areas of flat bottom between 15 and 60?m deep, and lie less than 30?km from the North Atlantic 2000?m contour. The surface sea temperatures in these areas are between 24 and 28 °C. The major concentrations of the humpbacks, which feed little in winter, are on Silver and Navidad banks. On Silver Bank the humpback and humpback song densities peak in the centre of the Bank. Mothers with calves are generally found in areas of calm water, and singers are found over areas with a flat bottom, where they meander slowly. Larger groups move considerably faster and in straighter lines. There is no evidence of whales possessing particular movement patterns, preferred ranges, or territories within the Bank. The concentration of humpbacks may be a significant feature for other humpbacks.

publication date

  • September 1982